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Challenging the handover : recommendations for research and practice

journal contribution
posted on 2001-01-01, 00:00 authored by B O`Connell, Wendy Penney
Communicating nursing care during the patient's total hospital stay is a difficult task to achieve within the context of high patient turnover, a lack of overlap time between shifts, and time constraints. Clear and accurate communication is pivotal to delivering high quality care and should be the gold standard in any clinical setting. Handover is a commonly used communication medium that requires review and critique. This study was conducted in five acute care settings at a major teaching hospital. Using a grounded theory approach, it explored the use of three types of handover techniques (verbal in the office, tape-recorded, and bedside handovers). Data were obtained from semi-structured interviews with nurses and participant field observations. Textual data were managed using NUD-IST. Transcripts were critically reviewed and major themes identified from the three types of handovers that illustrated their strengths and weaknesses. The findings of this study revealed that handover is more than just a forum for communicating patient care. It is also used as a place where nurses can debrief, clarify information and update knowledge. Overall, each type of handover had particular strengths and limitations; however, no one type of handover was appraised as being more effective. Achieving the multiple goals of handover presents researchers and clinicians with a challenging task. It is necessary to explore more creative ways of conducting the handover of patient care, so that an important aspect of nursing practice does not get classified as just another ritual.

History

Journal

Collegian: journal of the Royal College of Nursing Australia

Volume

8

Issue

3

Pagination

14 - 19

Publisher

Royal College of Nursing Australia

Location

Deakin, A.C.T.

ISSN

1322-7696

eISSN

1876-7575

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.

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